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  1. #41
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Yes, that would be a failed attempt to insult. It works the same way with compliments. I have had people try to insult me by saying things that I receive simply as objective truths, and try to compliment me by describing me in ways that I find distinctly unflattering. I do not hold them responsible for whatever emotional effect I feel, but it does tell me something about their values and tastes, as well as how well they know me.

    I don't try to insult people as a rule, but I can neither know nor be responsible for how someone (mis)interprets my statements. I might, for instance, try to compliment someone on their shoes by pointing out how sturdy and comfortable they look, qualities I value. If the person intended the shoes as a fashion statement, they might interpret my "compliment" to mean the shoes are unattractive, with only practical value, and feel insulted rather than complimented. This difference in interpretation is based entirely on the other person's values and mindset. In making comments, especially criticisms, then, I follow two rules of thumb: is it accurate, and is it useful.
    This is Te versus Fe, I suppose, or simply T versus F. I disagree. I don't usually insult people either, but I don't believe failed insults or compliments exist; insults and compliments can either be acknowledged or ignored. If I took something as insulting which the other person did not intend as such, it would be a mistake on my part of misidentifying the statement. However, if the person was really clumsy about it, I would still have reason to ask them to take more care in the delivery next time. Would you not agree that this is a reasonable thing to ask?

  2. #42
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Either way, I think it is never all one person's fault. People are responsible for their own feelings, but in so far as you want to have good relations with someone, you are partly responsible for how your comments are received. That's just how social interaction works. Ideally you could primarily interact with people who have a natural disposition to receive your communication style positively; that's what I try to do. I dislike accidentally offending people and then being made to feel bad about it. But when you have to interact with sensitive people, their disposition should be taken into account. And people can take offense at things for all kinds of reasons, even if it is not in their disposition to do so often.

  3. #43
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    This is Te versus Fe, I suppose, or simply T versus F. I disagree. I don't usually insult people either, but I don't believe failed insults or compliments exist; insults and compliments can either be acknowledged or ignored. If I took something as insulting which the other person did not intend as such, it would be a mistake on my part of misidentifying the statement. However, if the person was really clumsy about it, I would still have reason to ask them to take more care in the delivery next time. Would you not agree that this is a reasonable thing to ask?
    Anyone clumsy about something should try to take more care the next time. I would ask you instead, next time you receive what might be a compliment or an insult, to examine it for accuracy first. If inaccurate, the content can be dismissed, but you might wonder why the statement was made. Is it an honest mistake, or an attempt at flattery, or a by-product of someone just in a bad mood? If accurate, ask whether it is important or useful. The answers have nothing to do with the character of the statement as compliment, insult, or neutral, but more with how if at all you plan to respond. If, for instance, someone tells you your hair is messy, you might think it isn't, and write off their comment as a reflection of their taste. Or you might agree that it's messy, but you don't care right now. Or you might not have realized it, and decide to do something about it. See - insult or compliment doesn't even enter into it once you view the comment objectively.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #44
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Anyone clumsy about something should try to take more care the next time. I would ask you instead, next time you receive what might be a compliment or an insult, to examine it for accuracy first. If inaccurate, the content can be dismissed, but you might wonder why the statement was made. Is it an honest mistake, or an attempt at flattery, or a by-product of someone just in a bad mood? If accurate, ask whether it is important or useful. The answers have nothing to do with the character of the statement as compliment, insult, or neutral, but more with how if at all you plan to respond. If, for instance, someone tells you your hair is messy, you might think it isn't, and write off their comment as a reflection of their taste. Or you might agree that it's messy, but you don't care right now. Or you might not have realized it, and decide to do something about it. See - insult or compliment doesn't even enter into it once you view the comment objectively.
    I personally try to do this, but you are assuming the person does not have the intention to be insulting. This would be characterized as expressing a generally negative valuation of the person. I think it is important whether or not people regard me positively or negatively, and I am not alone in this. Probably Te dom/aux doesn't really think this way; they tend to view people neutrally or judge whether they have a good relationship with that person, or just whether there is compatibility. I don't know; but I prefer to interact and cultivate relationships with people who regard me positively, and if there is no way to know, I become uncomfortable. I don't really understand how you can know whether someone is treating you well if you can't discern how they intend to affect your feelings. Maybe it's less important to treat people well and be treated well online, but there are forum rules attempting to establish such an atmosphere for a reason.

    Also, examine you motivations for expressing criticism. Sometimes it is unnecessary and unhelpful, as well as being unwanted. In such situations it is better to leave it unsaid.

  5. #45
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    This is Te versus Fe, I suppose, or simply T versus F. I disagree. I don't usually insult people either, but I don't believe failed insults or compliments exist; insults and compliments can either be acknowledged or ignored. If I took something as insulting which the other person did not intend as such, it would be a mistake on my part of misidentifying the statement. However, if the person was really clumsy about it, I would still have reason to ask them to take more care in the delivery next time. Would you not agree that this is a reasonable thing to ask?
    Isn't there a bit of victim-blaming inherent in here? For example, someone could horribly offend someone else with a tactless "compliment", and then blame them for being too sensitive and not knowing a compliment when they see one. And, by your rule, they'd be in the right.

    I don't see this as function-based, so much as a different philosophy on the subject; compliments and insults being a one-way, vs. a two-way, street. Either way, it doesn't allow for much adaptation to other people's communication styles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Anyone clumsy about something should try to take more care the next time.
    ^ This!
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
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  6. #46
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Isn't there a bit of victim-blaming inherent in here? For example, someone could horribly offend someone else with a tactless "compliment", and then blame them for being too sensitive and not knowing a compliment when they see one. And, by your rule, they'd be in the right.

    I don't see this as function-based, so much as a different philosophy on the subject; compliments and insults being a one-way, vs. a two-way, street. Either way, it doesn't allow for much adaptation to other people's communication styles.
    No, I am sensing potential victim-blaming in Coriolis' philosophy; I don't believe this, which is why I said this:
    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Either way, I think it is never all one person's fault. People are responsible for their own feelings, but in so far as you want to have good relations with someone, you are partly responsible for how your comments are received. That's just how social interaction works. Ideally you could primarily interact with people who have a natural disposition to receive your communication style positively; that's what I try to do. I dislike accidentally offending people and then being made to feel bad about it. But when you have to interact with sensitive people, their disposition should be taken into account. And people can take offense at things for all kinds of reasons, even if it is not in their disposition to do so often.
    Despite someone misidentifying something as an insult, it is not a blameworthy thing- just a mistake, which could be avoided in the future with more experience and a better attitude. Similarly, the other person would be equally responsible (though not necessarily blameworthy) for the outcome and with more experience could avoid the mistake in the future by taking the other person's temperament into account and taking care in how a comment is delivered.


    Have you read our entire discussion? I jumped in to say what my opinion of the definition of an insult is; Coriolis disagreed by suggesting that it is entirely in the mind of the listener, and I implied that it was all in the intention of the speaker; moderated by the fact that the speaker has the responsibility to make those intentions clear (thus avoiding victim blaming), and the listener has a responsibility to try her best to accurately interpret those intentions.

  7. #47
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I personally try to do this, but you are assuming the person does not have the intention to be insulting. This would be characterized as expressing a generally negative valuation of the person. I think it is important whether or not people regard me positively or negatively, and I am not alone in this. Probably Te dom/aux doesn't really think this way; they tend to view people neutrally or judge whether they have a good relationship with that person, or just whether there is compatibility. I don't know; but I prefer to interact and cultivate relationships with people who regard me positively, and if there is no way to know, I become uncomfortable. I don't really understand how you can know whether someone is treating you well if you can't discern how they intend to affect your feelings. Maybe it's less important to treat people well and be treated well online, but there are forum rules attempting to establish such an atmosphere for a reason.

    Also, examine you motivations for expressing criticism. Sometimes it is unnecessary and unhelpful, as well as being unwanted. In such situations it is better to leave it unsaid.
    This is why my second rule of thumb involves utility: is it necessary or helpful to make the comment? I suppose Te does cause one to view all this more objectively. Yes, I prefer that people regard me positively, but that should be a by-product of my being courteous, helpful, responsible, etc. Similarly, if someone views me negatively, I would like to know why. If I have inconvenienced them in some way, or do something they find annoying, I should correct this if possible. If it is just a matter of different values, or their being sore at me for something like getting a promotion they wanted, I see no realistic way to change this. I do not require the admiration of everyone I meet.

    Actually my analysis does not depend on the speaker not intending insult. Consider the following "insults":

    1. "you're an obnoxious bitch"

    2. "you don't have any constructive suggestions to the problems around here - you just want to whine"

    3. "you've got to have the ugliest wardrobe I have ever seen"

    4. "you're a cold analytical person, you're too introspective, and you have to analyze every fucking situation like it were some science problem"

    Rather than get upset over any of these, I examine them for accuracy and utility. I dismiss (1) as containing no real content, and write it off as emotional venting of the other person. If they want to affect my actions, they need to provide substantive criticism. I would dismiss (2) for inaccuracy, since I am well known for getting my constructive solutions implemented, and never whining. Perhaps the speaker is unaware of my track record, or even jealous of it. (3) is a matter of taste. Yes, I might be able to see how the speaker considers what I wear unattractive, but I don't really care. I'm a physicist, not a fashion model, and it works for me. On the other hand I would see (4) as containing some truth, truth I would do well to consider. Perhaps I should analyze less and listen more, at least with this person.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Isn't there a bit of victim-blaming inherent in here? For example, someone could horribly offend someone else with a tactless "compliment", and then blame them for being too sensitive and not knowing a compliment when they see one. And, by your rule, they'd be in the right.
    My comment that insults are in the eye of the beholder means that the receiver can control the emotional impact of the statement. I recognize the examples I listed above as attempts by someone to be insulting, but I refuse to "feel" insulted by them. This is easy to do when one focuses on the objective content (or lack thereof). In this sense I do place responsibility for insults on the receiver. Either the content of the "insult" is accurate and useful, or it is not. So, why then is it bad to try to insult people? It is an ineffective way to address problems, including people you may dislike or not get along with. It relies on inaccuracy, hyperbole, and ugly language, and attempts to manipulate the other person. I see it as a reflection entirely on the speaker, and refuse to be manipulated by it.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #48
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What is the difference between an insult and an unflattering observation, or a criticism?
    I think it is pretty straight-forward.

    The insult usually takes the form of, "You are .......".

  9. #49
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    I think it is pretty straight-forward.

    The insult usually takes the form of, "You are .......".
    "You are the light of my life."
    "You are wise beyond your years."
    "You are the best boss I ever had."
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #50
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    "You are the light of my life."
    "You are wise beyond your years."
    "You are the best boss I ever had."
    Why are you being needlessly contrary?

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